Death of the Grand Master of the SMOM

#1
#2
I was pleasantly surprised when I browsed the site. I'd gone in with pre-conceived ideas, but this evaporated when I noticed what they've been involved in in the Middle East, and across the world.

This can only be good, and although I'm a bit put off by the religious backdrop, and the masonic connotations - to provide hospitals for the poor to be treated and have babies, no matter their race, creed or religion is extremely laudable. And all this seems to be done with a very low profile.

If he doesn't make the grade or cut the mustard as Euro president, would it be possible for Tony Blair to offer his services as the next Grand Master?

What do you think, GG?
 

JT67

Old-Salt
#3
I had a look at their website. I didn't realise what a diverse range of activities they are involved in. By all accounts the SMOM was quite a man. RIP.
 

basso

War Hero
#4
[
Still plenty of good blokes out there. Impressive that some people are

willing to try so hard. That's what National Service did for us.

RIP old fellow.
 
#5
Tony Bliar could not possibly take over as Grand Master because;
a. One has to believe in a greater being and he doesn't believe there is anyone greater than himself
b. masonic links. Bliar is not a mason
c. You have to be honest. Enough said !!
d. You have to be truthful. Enough said !!
e. You have to be charitable. Enough said !!
f. You have to be respected. Enough said !!
g. You have to have done something useful in your life. List on the back of a postage stamp please.

Even in the passing of their Grand Master, no organization is THAT desperate !!
 
#6
tony blair is a bilderburger ; a secret organistion whos only goal is a united states of europe
 
#7
What sad news. My ex often talked about him, Mr Bertie had been his housemaster at school. He was extremely cultivated, rather flamboyant in his attire, and drove a Rolls Royce. A very kind man. Apparently related to the Queen.

requiescat in pace
 
#8
beukyboy said:
tony blair is a bilderburger ; a secret organistion whos only goal is a united states of europe
:?

If it's sooooo secret, how do you know of it, and if it's aim is to have a United States of Europe, why are there so many non-'Europeans' in it?

:wink:
 
#9
Found this article dating from his appointment. Pity our political leaders are not of the same ilk.

From .............

30 Days - In the Church and the World

No.3 June 1988

By- Pina Baglioni

pages 72-73


He is English, from London. He is "only" 59 years old, young for his post. He is of the highest nobility: in fact, he has royal blood in his veins. His mother, Lady Jean Crichton Stuart, is a descendant of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland, the "Catholic" par excellence, and he is therefore distantly related to Elizabeth II. His father James, a nobleman of ancient British aristocratic stock, with the title of the counts of Lindsay and Abington, was a broker on the London Stock Exchange who, in both world wars, served as an officer in the British Navy. The sister of his father married the brother of Sir Winston Churchill.

This noble geneology belongs to Andrew Willoughby Ninian Bertie, elected April 8 as the 78th Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta. ["Knights of Malta" .... JP] He succeeds the Italian Brother Angelo de Mojana di Cologna, who died January 18 after 26 years of rule.

Descended from families and individuals used to governing, this "king without a kingdom" will guide 12,000 Knights scattered throughout the world, and a religious, military and hospital Order inspired by St. John the Baptist, of whom Christ said numquam surrexit maior: "Never has a greater man arisen. "

Brother Bertie was included in a brief list of "outsiders" with a chance to be elected in the period before the Grand Electors of the Order, 35 in all, closed themselves inside the splendid villa designed by Piranesi on Aventine Hill in Rome. His election, as is known, was not a unanimous one, even if, in hindsight, one cannot say he did not fit the requirements that the Holy See had indicated through the Order's Cardinal "patron," Sebastiano Baggio: a young Grand Master, to give the Order a younger character and greater stability.

Among Bertie's "opponents," the so called "continualists," the candidates who received the most support were the elderly Jean Charles Pallavicini, the lieutenant who could have guaranteed continuity with de Mojana's leadership, and Von Lobstein, well liked in Roman circles. Instead, on April 8, after just four hours of conclave, the Order's Council of State chose this English gentleman, very reserved and ascetic - and very cultured .

He speaks an incredible number of languages: 17, to be exact, including several of the Indo-oriental and Slavic linguistic groups, and, as he himself says, a "bad Italian," somewhat mixed with Spanish. This, perhaps, thanks to an adventuresome youth in which he travelled to various parts of the world after military service in the royal Scottish guard between 1948 and 1950. He graduated in languages at London University after studying at Christ Church College, Oxford. He then attended the two-year program at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

Andrew Bertie seemed destined to a prestigious career as a businessman following in his father's footsteps. [He was in fact a silk salesman for the company of Johnson and Johnson.] At a certain point, however, he decided to dedicate himself to journalism on the staff of the City Press. His real goal: to travel the world. During long trips to India and Sikkim, he became familiar with the mountainous regions of the Himalayas and he lived among the Tibetan Lamas learning the techniques of contemplation. He is considered one of the world's leading scholars of Tibet.

Upon his return to England, he decided to teach languages - French, Spanish, and Russian - at the school of the Benedictines of Worth in southern England.

His appointment as a Knight of Malta in 1956 was determined by one of the "invitations" that are traditionally sent to members of aristocratic Catholic families. At the age of 33, he decided on the vow of obedience. Though he dedicated himself to charitable work, Bertie did not neglect his passion for sports. In fact, he is a black belt in judo. In 1977, he took the solemn vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, becoming a monk like the other "professed" members of the Order. In 1981, he took perpetual vows.

In recent years, he helped administer the Order's Palace-State on Via Condotti in Rome. But above all the Grand Master made the spirituality of the Order his own. Since 1962, he has organized and led the annual pilgrimage to Lourdes, and he is a permanent member of the hospital service of that sanctuary. He set up at Worth a band of strong stretcher-bearers who accompany the sick to the sources of the miraculous waters of Lourdes.

The post that he has assumed with the explicit approbation of the Pope grants him the rank of Cardinal in the ecclesiastical hierarchy. The fact that he is British is nearly unprecedented. His most recent British predecessor as Grand Master of the Order of Malta was Hugh de Revel who assumed the post more than 700 years ago, in 1277. From the time of the Crusades on, the choice never again fell on a subject of the English crown, especially following the decision of Henry VIII to break diplomatic relations with the Order - relations that have never been re-established even though Queen Elizabeth agreed last year that the Knights of Malta might publicly exhibit their standards even in the United Kingdom.

Many observers have noted that a British Grand Master who is also close to the Queen [herself the head of the schismatic twin Order, the Venerable Order of St. John], cannot help but reinforce the ecumenical dialogue between Rome and London that is particularly important to John Paul II.

In the new Grand Master, all the religious and civil powers of the Order come together for the rest of his life. Even if he is the supreme head, however Brother Bertie will have to govern "with the Convent," that is, with the Sovereign Council which is the Order's executive organ. He is expected to have the quality of "perfection" and that very severe spirituality expressed in the severed head of St. John the Baptist, the Order's ancient symbol. He will have the duty of watching over discipline and of conducting canonical visits to the 500 institutions throughout the world. These enjoy a "Common Treasury" of almost 500 million dollars, not counting the property belonging to the Order's 70 associations and 50 embassies.

Cardinal Baggio has said of Bertie, "He is a man of great religious fervor, educated by the Benedictines, and it should not be forgotten that the Order of Malta is a religious order. He has a great advantage over the other Knights: he is 59. He will live as long as God wishes but we wish him at least another 20 years."

A sign of the spirituality of Brother Andrew Bertie is his great veneration for Blessed Hadrian of Fortescue, the cousin of Anne Boleyn, beheaded in 1539 for having opposed the reform of Henry VIII.

With his appointment as Grand Master, a wind of radical change is beginning to blow through the Order. The first intention that "His Most Eminent Highness" is said to have circulated among the "entourage" of the Knights concerning the future management of the Order is that of reducing the cost of the Order's delegations, on the grounds that a religious order does not need such expenses.

All the great tasks will have to wait for a year and a half, when the General Chapter will be convoked. Then perhaps another one of Bertie's desires will be realized: that embassies, the treasury and hospitals be entrusted only to those who have taken the vow of poverty, chastity and obedience, and have received their investiture with the sword. Currently, many of the highest posts are in the hands of those who were admitted to the Order as honorary members.

But these may not be the only new developments. There is also the possibility of a return of the headquarters of the Order to its origins, that is, to the island of Malta. For years, Brother Bertie has lived, with his mother, in the Maltese capital, Valletta. On Malta, therefore, the Grand Master is at home. The return of the Knights to Malta would restore to the island some of the importance and prestige it has now lost. It seems, then, that Malta would like "its own" Knights to return, nearly two centuries after they were forced to leave by Napoleon's troops, who took the island as they prepared to invade Egypt in 1798.

Important decisions await this ascetic and shy British nobleman, and he will need all his courage to confront them: "a courage stronger than a ram's," as the motto of the Bertie family proclaims.
 
#10
fmop - Thank you for your post.
 
#11
bobos said:
Tony Bliar could not possibly take over as Grand Master because;
a. One has to believe in a greater being and he doesn't believe there is anyone greater than himself
b. masonic links. Bliar is not a mason
c. You have to be honest. Enough said !!
d. You have to be truthful. Enough said !!
e. You have to be charitable. Enough said !!
f. You have to be respected. Enough said !!
g. You have to have done something useful in your life. List on the back of a postage stamp please.

Even in the passing of their Grand Master, no organization is THAT desperate !!
One correction and one addition:

The SMOM has nothing to do with the masons. The Roman Catholic church prohibits membership.

The GM of the Order is only "open" to those who have taken solemn religious vows. One of which is celibacy. Now if I were married to the Wicked Witch I would probably be celibate but even so I don't think it would count. :twisted:
 
#12
#14
frenchperson said:
gallowglass said:
Just an update on this - the 79th Grand Master of the SMOM has been elected this morning in Rome. Of interest to those on here is that it is Fra' Matthew Festing, Grand Prior of England:

http://www.orderofmalta.org/site/notizia.asp?IDNotizia=406&idlingua=5
Aaaaw. Not Tony B, then. :cry:
Howdedo frenchperson,

Johnny-come-lately Catholics do not tend to be well received by the Order, which, unlike the House of Commons, attaches a good deal of importance to tradition, background and behaviour - Blair and most politicos would therefore be ruled out.
 
#15
Gas Gas Gas said:
bobos said:
Tony Bliar could not possibly take over as Grand Master because;
a. One has to believe in a greater being and he doesn't believe there is anyone greater than himself
b. masonic links. Bliar is not a mason
c. You have to be honest. Enough said !!
d. You have to be truthful. Enough said !!
e. You have to be charitable. Enough said !!
f. You have to be respected. Enough said !!
g. You have to have done something useful in your life. List on the back of a postage stamp please.

Even in the passing of their Grand Master, no organization is THAT desperate !!
One correction and one addition:

The SMOM has nothing to do with the masons. The Roman Catholic church prohibits membership.

The GM of the Order is only "open" to those who have taken solemn religious vows. One of which is celibacy. Now if I were married to the Wicked Witch I would probably be celibate but even so I don't think it would count. :twisted:
Beat me to it: there are strong links between the Masons and the Knights Templer, including every Masonic Lodge being a representation of the Temple of Soloman. Although there is no hard evidance, many Freemasons believe themselves to be the spiritual descendants of the Knights Templer. One of the most popular legands is that Knights Templer who fought at Bannockburn were allowed to stay in Scotland by de Bruce, on the understanding that the Order would disband.

So the Knights disbanded the Order but kept the rituals etc alive within their families(they were no longer bound by their Knightly vows, including celibacy :wink)and this eventually became Freemasonary.

As I said, no evidance at all, but a very nice story which many Masons believe. :)

When both organisations were on Crusade, there was no love lost at all between the Templers and Knights Hospitaltier; imagine Paras vs Marines and you get a rough idea. 8O

So there is no way a Mason would join the Knights of St John, even if he was allowed to.

Oh, is that my anorak? And you've called a taxi, how kind... :oops:
 
#16
Knights of Malta eh? Those from whom the 33rd degree Freemasons take their orders huh? And who do the Knights of Malta take their orders from we wondersssss, yesssssssss we wondersssssssss.
 
#17
gallowglass said:
Johnny-come-lately Catholics do not tend to be well received by the Order.....
That rules me out since I'm not a cradle Catholic.
 
#18
#19
#20
Beat me to it: there are strong links between the Masons and the Knights Templer, including every Masonic Lodge being a representation of the Temple of Soloman. Although there is no hard evidance, many Freemasons believe themselves to be the spiritual descendants of the Knights Templer. One of the most popular legands is that Knights Templer who fought at Bannockburn were allowed to stay in Scotland by de Bruce, on the understanding that the Order would disband.
[b]
So the Knights disbanded the Order but kept the rituals etc alive within their families(they were no longer bound by their Knightly vows, including celibacy :wink)and this eventually became Freemasonary
. :?
As I said, no evidance at all, but a very nice story which many Masons believe. :) [/b]
When both organisations were on Crusade, there was no love lost at all between the Templers and Knights Hospitaltier; imagine Paras vs Marines and you get a rough idea. 8O
So there is no way a Mason would join the Knights of St John, even if he was allowed to.
Oh, is that my anorak? And you've called a taxi, how kind... :oops:[/quote]


Let's get the title of this very illustrious organisation correct before we continue. They are : The Soverign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta.

They were dissolved by Henry V111 in 1540 when several prominent Knights of Malta were executed. They are not to be confused with the Most Venerable Order of St. John of Jerusalem in the British Relm founded in 1888. However both organisations signed a co-operation agreement in 1963.

I take polite issue with my brother's highlighted comments above and which are personal and not the views of United Grand Lodge.

Templers and the Hospitallers worked extremely effectively and together in all of their Crusades. The only Order that Templers were permitted to visit outside of their own priorys was the Hospitallers. Such was their co-operation that when Phillip the Fair suppressed the Templers in 1312 all of their wealth and property was transferred to the Order of St. John.

There is no reason or rule to say that a Freemason may not belong to this organisation should he so be invited. There will always be zealots in both camps who will interpret the guidelines in the manner as they will.

Last year the noble order donated £500 million in aid specifically to war zones.

Fra Matthew Festing OBE is the second Englishman in the 1000 year history of the Order to hold this title. His dad 'Front Line Franky' the Field Marshall and CIGS is well worth a review.
 

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